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What should I do about this friend?

(20 Posts)
JustMe73 Thu 07-Dec-17 11:51:04


I have a really good friend who I have known about 35 years (since school,) and we were great mates in the 1990's; going away together, living in the same HMO in our 20's, and clubbing together.

We drifted apart around 2001, though (when we were about 30,) as we both got married, (she eloped!) and we both moved out of the town we grew up in. We had no contact for 10 years.

Then we reconnected in 2011 after bumping into one another at an old mutual friend's silver wedding party. She is a good laugh, and we swap cards and gifts at Christmas and on our birthdays, and we meet up and go to the pub or Starbucks every 2 months or so. I really like her, we have lots in common, and a lot of history.

One thing bugs me though. It's always, without fail, ME who contacts her. I know this seems trivial, and it's the only thing that bugs me about her, but it is always me who contacts her. I have tried, on several occasions, to 'leave it,' and I have actually left it 3-4 months a few times (without contacting her,) and on these 3 or 4 occasions I have done this, she has not contacted me. So I have caved in, and messaged her.

She answers back each time with an excited 'yay, let's meet next Friday, can't wait!' and she always turns up and we have a nice time. But she never contacts me first. She has no facebook or twitter so my only contact with her is by phone (or text.)

She has 4 adult children - aged 18 to 29 - all still at home (and I have 2 who have left, one at uni and one living with friends,) and she works 24 hours a week, and the kids and her hubby are bone idle, (her words...) so I know she is a busy person. However, it would be nice if she would contact me, just once, just for a change! And I am a busy person too. I have a job, and a home to run, and I still have 2 children. Even though they don't still live at home, I do still do stuff with them, (and for them,) and take them places occasionally.

Should I just suck it up and accept it, as this is the only thing that bugs me and everything else about her is great? Or should I stick it out and not contact her at all again, and wait for her to contact me from now on?

We are meeting next Monday for a pub lunch, and to swap Christmas gifts, (a meeting that is occurring because of me contacting her,) but I was wondering if next year, I should just not contact her and wait for her to contact me.

We lived 100 miles apart for the 10 years we had no contact, (as we both moved quite far from the town we grew up in,) but we both moved close to the big town we grew up in some 8-10 years back, and now live 24-25 miles apart. She lives 12 miles south of the town, and I live 12 miles north of it, so we are unlikely to bump into each other. I think we have only accidentally bumped into each other 2 or 3 times (in that big town,) in the last 6 or 7 years.


Nannyplumbrocks Thu 07-Dec-17 11:57:19

Depends how much it bothers you really. You have to weigh up how much you want the friendship against how much it bothers you. I had a friend like this but other way round. She always contacted me. At that point I had kind of checked out for various reasons. About 2 years ago she stopped contacting me and that was that. So if you stop contacting her chances are friendship will be over. Decide if your ok with that

JustMe73 Thu 07-Dec-17 12:00:33

That's the thing @nanny, I don't want her to be out of my life and I like her and enjoy her company.

I am just bugged by the fact it is always me who contacts her, and I question (now and again,) if she is that bothered about me - or is it just that she doesn't think, or time passes her by quickly etc... and she isn't purposely 'not contacting me.'

Nannyplumbrocks Thu 07-Dec-17 12:01:32

Ask her so. Thats all you can do.

JustMe73 Thu 07-Dec-17 12:03:31

Can I ask @Nannyplumbbrocks why did you never contact your friend, and always wait for her to contact you? Why did you 'check out?' (of the friendship I presume?)

When she stopped contacting you, why didn't you contact her? Were you not bothered about her? Did she not mean much to you?

Sorry to ask, but it's just that it's relevant to my issue, so I wondered why.

Nannyplumbrocks Thu 07-Dec-17 12:13:34

Different scenario to yours. I just got fed up of being let down last minute by this friend. She wanted to stay in touch but not put any effort into actually meeting up. That wasn't a friendship to me. So I backed off. Its sad but at least Im not being let down all time now

JustMe73 Thu 07-Dec-17 12:17:54

Oh OK thanks. smile Yeah that is completely different, as there are no issues, and neither of us ever lets the other one down.

It just bugs me that it's always me who contacts her.

FinallyHere Thu 07-Dec-17 12:23:16

JustMe how often do you tend to get in touch? I have some friends who never seem to suggest, but are always happy to join in. I have at some point just left it and waited for them to notice. If they then get in touch to say 'missed you, lets get together' or even 'are you ok, haven't heard from you in a while' all well and good. If they don't make the effort, well, they are probably just being nice.

Might that work for you?

JustMe73 Thu 07-Dec-17 12:28:39

Hi @Finallyhere smile

I get in touch (usually) 2 months after our last meeting, and we usually meet a few days after I text or ring her.

As I said, I have left it 3 or 4 months on a few occasions, and she hasn't got in touch. We never bump into each other either as we live 25 miles apart. When I do contact her, she is happy to meet, and we have a good time, but she never, ever, ever contacts me first.

I really do feel like not contacting her next year and seeing if she contacts me, but at the same time, I don't want to lose the friendship.

sothatdidntwork Thu 07-Dec-17 12:29:27

I think as long as she says yes and is enthusiastic, turns up and does not flake, I would notice this but not act on it! She obviously likes you and enjoys seeing you, you enjoy seeing her so win/win. If she were slow to make arrangements, went in for cancellations/changes of plan etc, that would be different - then I would interpret it more as 'she's just not that into me' - but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I think there are some people who are not natural 'contacters/initiators' and as long as she is a positive person in your life, that is perhaps a tiny bit annoying, but basically ok.

TitaniasCloset Thu 07-Dec-17 12:30:01

I think you either mention it to her or just accept that's the way she is and stop letting it bother you. Sometimes this is just the dynamic in some friendships and we slip into habits. Maybe she feels shy to contact you first, or maybe she is a bit ditzy and all over the place and relies on you to make the plans.

You could mention it in a nice way and see what she says. But she clearly likes you and values your friendship so I wouldn't get too upset about it.

sothatdidntwork Thu 07-Dec-17 12:34:22

Meeting up with you just a few days after you ring her is very quick - I'd guess she is just someone who doesn't get round to initiating but does really enjoy seeing you! And she is a good laugh... I'd say hang on to her, but maybe keep your calls at the current intervals - say 2 or 3 months.

(And i say that as someone who does readily drop out quite speedily if I sense lack of interest - which doesn't seem to be the case in your friend's case!)

Cricrichan Thu 07-Dec-17 12:35:57

I've got lots of great friends who are like this. In my group of local friends for example, there are a few of us who always organise stuff and the rest don't tend to but they're happy to join in.

It doesn't bother me and I don't think it's enough for you to finish the friendship for. She's happy when you organise stuff and great company. That's enough.

JustMe73 Thu 07-Dec-17 13:02:57

Thanks for the last few posts folks. smile

So the general consensus is then, that as everything else is pretty much good in the friendship, that this is probably just a 'quirk' with her.

It would be a shame to lose the friendship, but this one thing just bugs me. Maybe I need to 'suck it up!' grin

tharsheblows Thu 07-Dec-17 13:07:30

I would not recommend having a chat with her about it. I'm a bit like her, I think, although every 2 months would be a little too often for me, especially if I had to travel across town to do it. I definitely wouldn't contact you to meet up if you were calling me, why would I? Even 3 to 4 months isn't all that long. There are friends of mine I see a few times a year and we're all pretty happy with that — everyone has a lot going on and likes catching up without being so involved in every detail of life.

But if someone had a chat with me about not calling them and they weren't a super close friend, it would make me reconsider the friendship a bit because they'd clearly want more from it than I did and I just can't take on anymore needy people right now!

Intercom Thu 07-Dec-17 17:08:38

It doesn't sound deliberate and she probably doesn't realise. I think it would be fine to ask her if she has noticed. You could even ask her kindly if it means she's not keen to keep up the friendship, or is she just shy of asking, or preoccupied with a worry of some kind?

Some of us are fearful of rejection even from people we get on well with, especially if it has happened too much before in life. We might feel people (even friends) won't really want to see us or we don't have much to offer a more interesting person like them. Does she contact other friends without waiting to be invited?

Aminuts23 Thu 07-Dec-17 17:13:26

OP with some of my friends I am rubbish at keeping in touch. I get busy and days/weeks go by and I haven’t contacted them. But when we do meet up it’s great. I wouldn’t take it personally. Sometimes life just gets in the way. I’m always pleased to hear from my friends, and equally they’re pleased to hear from me when I do pick up the phone. If the friendship is good let it go

Huskylover1 Thu 07-Dec-17 17:33:26

What strikes me, is that your home circumstances are WILDLY different.

She is picking up after 5 lazy sods, probably doing all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, food shop etc. She also works. She must be bloody knackered. Poor woman.

You, on the other hand, have 2 kids, but neither live at home. I am the same as you, and I feel like I have a really easy life! You have so much more time on your hands and head space than she has. So you think about a meet up, when she hasn't had time to.

I'm sure things would be different, if she wasn't so busy.

So yes, I would suck it up.

Rudgie47 Thu 07-Dec-17 17:54:43

I'd just leave the ball in her court by saying give me a ring/text when you want to meet up again etc.
Personally I wouldnt be chasing her, actions speak louder than words and it has to be 50/50 ish with contacting for me.
She has time to send a text or for a quick ring, no one is that busy.

DevilScope Thu 07-Dec-17 18:17:45

That’s a good option rudgie

I think the fact that you feel you have to post about it probably means it IS annoying you? And will annoy you more as time goes on.

definitely a social place for “casual coffee acquaintances” in the busy modern world, but I personally find lowering to my self esteem to feel I’m always chasing after someone socially, even if they are “nice”.

Maybe if I was some extroverted hostess type throwing big parties I’d be happy with the one sided dynamic but I’m not.

As it is I think having to always instigate is basically just social “Wifework”? And I don’t like Wifework whether it’s friendship or relationship based.

I’ve spent time with some lovely people, but they behave like children - refuse to ever suggest anything, and tbh I don’t like constantly being in the “pursuer/mother/older sister” role, where I research and “offer up” social options like a tour guide or a carer?

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